I slept very poorly on Monday night. Probably a combination of factors – excitement about my upcoming trip, my natural inclination to stay up past midnight, garbage day noise outside, an odd dream, a thai ice tea at lunch (d’oh!) – but it left me groggy and not functioning at my usual pace yesterday.
Knowing that I need to get a lot done at work this week and that I was not going to be productive for the last hour and a half of my work day given my sleepy condition, I left early. On the way home I stopped off at the store to at least accomplish one "to-do" on my list. While there I also bought a few "Insomnia rebound" supplies.
According to Wikipedia,
Tryptophan is an amino acid and essential in human nutrition… Tryptophan is also a precursor for serotonin (a neurotransmitter) and melatonin (a neurohormone)… Tryptophan is particularly plentiful in chocolate, oats, bananas, dried dates, milk, cottage cheese, meat, fish, turkey, and peanuts.
Melatonin, or 5-methoxy-N-acetyltryptamine, is a hormone produced by pinealocytes in the pineal gland, located in the brain, but also in the retina and GI tract. It is a derivative of the amino acid tryptophan… Melatonin helps regulate sleep-wake or circadian rhythms.
So, when I got back to my place around 5:30pm, I had the following dinner while I checked up on some email and other low-key tasks:
- a small glass of milk
- a big spoonful of peanut butter (about 2 or 3 Tablespoons worth)
- two slices of turkey (with Trader Joe’s Raspberry Chipotle Sauce to spice things up)
I’d had a big serving of eggplant & bean cake at lunch, so didn’t feel too bad about my lack of vegetables. Plus all that was very filling since I don’t normally take in such a big dose of protein at one sitting.
One other thing I think may have helped was that I did not play any music – I will normally put iTunes on shuffle play – and the silence may have helped with lulling me towards sleep.
By 7:15pm I was yawning and began doing my pre-sleep tooth care, etc. I must have gone to bed between 7:45pm and 8, but I was very drowsy and didn’t note the exact time. I figured I’d probably nap for a couple hours and then get up and have a glass of warm milk to knock myself out again.
Instead I slept solidly through the night, surfacing at around 3:30am briefly and then falling right back asleep. When my alarm went off at 6:40am, I awoke refreshed and alert. Hooray for tryptophan!